What type of reaction takes places when sodium hydroxide reacts with sulfuric acid?
An exothermic, neutralization reaction takes place when sodium hydroxide reacts with sulfuric acid. The chemical reaction can be written as:
`2 NaOH + H_2SO_4 -> Na_2SO_4 + 2 H_2O`
In this reaction, the end product is sodium sulphate and water. The reaction generates a lot of heat energy (and hence should be carried out with proper care and one should use appropriate protective gear). This reaction represents interaction between a strong base and a strong acid, which causes a neutralization reaction. The hydrogen and hydroxyl ions combine together to form water and hence the solution gets neutralized.
Neutralization reactions are used to neutralize solutions with a high or a low pH. For example, a solution of sodium hydroxide is alkaline and can be neutralized with a strong acid. Neutralization reactions are often used in industries to neutralize their waste products before releasing them to the environment.
Hope this helps.